This Article is From Mar 21, 2016

PM Compares Dr Ambedkar To Martin Luther King, Mandela: Highlights

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke after laying the foundation stone of the Ambedkar Memorial on Monday.

Here are the highlights of his speech:
  • I am the first Prime Minister who has come to speak here. It is a matter of great fortune for me.
  • I have got an opportunity to fulfil Baba Saheb's dream. He left us in 1956. Today, after 60 years, a memorial is being set up.
  • 60 years have passed! I don't know how we can explain this, but we have had to wait for 60 years for this. Perhaps this was written in my fate. Perhaps I had blessings of Baba Saheb on me.
  • I want to take a moment to remember Vajpayee ji. He is the one who took this decision, but those who came after him did not have Ambedkar in their hearts. That's why even after acquiring the place, the work for the memorial did not start.
  • But today, I want to announce that I will inaugurate it on 14th April, 2018. And I assure you it will be spectacular. For the world, it will be an iconic building. For us it will be an inspiring building.
  • Sometimes we do great injustice to Baba Saheb. To call him the messiah only of the Dalits is a great injustice to him. Let us not limit him to that. He was the one who raised his voice against any injustice.
  • We should see him as 'Vishwa Manav' and not limit him to our borders. The way the world sees Martin Luther King, Baba Saheb should be seen like that. He was the voice of the downtrodden.
  • Baba Saheb was the guardian of human values. In the pages of history I see two people as really special - Sardar Patel and Baba Saheb Ambedkar.
  • India lay divided in princely states. Even the English wanted India to be split. But Sardar Patel through his will, skill and diplomacy united India.
  • While there was political divide on one side, there was social divide on another.
  • There has always been efforts to fix the problems in Indian society. But it was Baba Saheb who succeeded. Sardar Patel united India politically, Baba Saheb united India socially.
  • The question arises why did he have to resign? History in our country has often been diluted and diverted to serve vested interests.
  • When the Hindu Code Bills was being introduced, Baba Saheb fought for the rights of women. But the government of the time was not progressive enough. And so Baba Saheb left the government.
  • But eventually all that he said, had to be accepted by the subsequent governments. But by then many years had passed.
  • That is why it is not right to see him just as an icon of the Dalits. He spoke for all who were oppressed.
  • This country owes the foundation of its labour laws and rights to Baba Saheb. He proposed the limit of 8-hour workday for the those who toiled hardest.
  • If you make a list of founding fathers whose ideas are most relevant today, Baba Saheb will be right at the top.
  • We brought a much-lauded Bill in the Parliament recently. It was about improving waterways and water transit. Please don't think this is Narendra Modi's doing. It was Baba Saheb who had seen this potential back then. If he was part of the government, this Bill would have been introduced 60 years ago.
  • What message did Baba Saheb leave for us? If anyone has given a permanent cure for all ills of society, it was Baba Saheb. He emphasised the importance of education. He said if you are educated, you cannot be oppressed, you cannot remain untouchable.
  • Many people just remember his last message - to fight for your rights, but I ask you to remember him from his first message - be educated.
  • We are the people who some people just cannot stand, just don't want to see. They get a fever when they see this. They lose their balance, and that's why they propagate all kinds of falsehood.
  • Our governments have never let a scratch come to the reservation given to Dalits. These are lies being spread by others for petty political gains.
  • People who today take great pride in tarnishing the legacy of India perhaps do not know that Baba Saheb did his PhD in the great traditions of trade in ancient India.
  • Baba Saheb was a great proponent of industrialisation. He cared for the oppressed, marginalised, Dalits who did not have land. That is why he endorsed, empowered industrialisation.
  • I met Dalit entrepreneurs in this very hall. There were so many women among them. They are the ones paying the truest tribute to Baba Saheb. They said we want Dalits to become job creators and they made some requests. We accepted those requests in the Budget. You perhaps did not read about it in the newspapers because good things are rarely published in newspapers.
  • The time has come when we must once again strengthen the unity of our society. And we can learn about this from Baba Saheb.
  • Sometimes we bite our tongue while eating, but we do not break our teeth. Baba Saheb believed in that. He considered all his own. He never had the slightest thought of retribution. Baba Saheb, who saw so many injustices, never got down to show a shred of vengeance.
  • There are so many villages where even the electricity pole hasn't reached. There were 18,000 such villages. What tribute were we paying to Baba Saheb for 60 years? I made the promise from the Red Fort to bring power to these villages in 1,000 days. We have already completed 6,000 and we well may finish before the 1,000 days are over.
  • On 14th April we are setting up an e-platform for farmers to see which market will give them the best rates. This is also in honour of the anniversary of Baba Saheb.